29 July 2017

rosemary

An exercise of walking barefoot in the backyard:

The experience of walking barefoot in grass is kinda strange...I don't recall the last time I've done such a thing. There's a slight cushion to each step as the blades of grass buckle under my feet. The ground feels cool, and consequentially damp, whereas the wooden deck still feels warm from being in the sun the whole day. When there is a breeze, I can smell the honeysuckle. It's pretty nice.

25 July 2017

shards

ITS JAY CHOU'S LYRICS IN A MANGA, AND THE TRANSLATOR DIDN'T EVEN LEAVE A NOTE ABOUT IT ;_;


"最美的不是下雨天 是曾与妳躲过雨的屋簷" from 不能说的秘密
manga via

24 July 2017

greens

Here I present evidence that I have indeed been cooking lots of vegetables.

Exhibit A: one preparation that dandelion greens taste good in

I somewhat regret being spontaneous and buying a bunch of dandelion greens. Usually I'm proud of the fact that I like bitter greens, but this is a whole other level. It was good chopped up small in congee with some ground chicken, but dandelions are pretty nasty in soup or stir-fried. This was my last attempt at using up what I bought, and it's really good with pasta in peppery olive oil, loads of black pepper, and even more pecorino romano.

Exhibit B: first harvest from Sky Garden and mom's backyard

Chicken pasta (you're seeing all pasta dishes because we recently ran out of rice and are not feeling up to lugging a bag home in this heat) featuring oregano from mom's yard, and kale and lemon basil from Sky Garden...and lots of butter and peppery olive oil.

22 July 2017

crisps



I'm posting photos of restaurant meals but have actually been cooking a lot since Jeff and I decided to  go on a diet (farewell ice cream :( ). No complaints about cooking more and eating more veggie tho.

20 July 2017

gazebo

The good thing about being home is having a whole large table to myself to drink tea on. My latest tea order is the trice roasted (at this point I'm already sold) dongding from Floating Leaves. It came with such a cute note from the owner that I plan to order all my future taiwanese tea from there.


I chose to have another tea, an mid-age xiaguan sheng that I opened long ago, because my tea cabinet is truly full and I need to be concentrating on drinking teas that I've already opened...and all my samples from YS.


The wet leaves are still quite green (I suppose that shouldn't be a surprise?) but the aftertaste was strong in the initial steeps. I think I still have an identical cake of this, might leave that alone for some more years and see how it changes. Though with a not hot and humid climate, aging more might be doing more harm than good. I really need to set up a legit storage soon.

19 July 2017

dehydrate

Still busy playing Stardew Valley, I've finally filled the cellar with casks aging starfruit wine. I'm hoping that the great distillation expansion suggestions from the subreddit gets implemented eventually.

But the actual reason why I haven't been home recently is crickets. We've finally performed our first experiment with crickets (they smell less bad than expected, but still not pleasant to work with) because the past couple of weeks have threatened to rain everyday.

Since I haven't been home, I've missed the bulk of the fragrant flowers :(

12 July 2017

iridium

So I started playing Stardew Valley, afk a week.

08 July 2017

buttercups

My west coast friends are right about how much better having mountains and water in close proximity is.

More shots from up Cadillac Mountain, it's a very interesting location since it has small sections of rock poking through the trees.



Cliff walk in Newport, RI. It's supposedly one of the most scenic walks in the US(?). Better to walk here not on a sunny day, there was pretty much no shade.

On our way to the border crossing:

Rangely, ME: where we were recommended to drive up Quill Hill, but that path is really pushing the limit of drivability. We ended up hiking maybe ⅓ of the way up.


06 July 2017

lobster rolls

So ends perhaps the least pleasant trip (though perhaps Gritaly is a contender but I was sufficiently distracted by the places themselves) I've been on. It wasn't downright awful (although the Xi An Famous Foods location we went to tasted worse than ones I've been to before and that July 4th ruined my Long Island City exploration plans), but it is why I avoid travelling with other people generally. There was amazing landscape in Maine, which will get its own post tomorrow.

Meanwhile, two recent instances of sort of matching outfits:

28 June 2017

cee

Some Boston institutions:



26 June 2017

Acadia National Park

Lots of rocks and sunsets:






21 June 2017

saffron

Sort of fulfilling my meadow of wildflower dreams in Maine:


19 June 2017

cornwall

Haven't seen a sunset this spectacular since Exeter:


15 June 2017

one

Mom's birthday dinner:


This sponge cake from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi is the most difficult cake I ever made, and perhaps not so coincidentally is also the cake with the shortest ingredients list I've ever made. It's just flout, sugar, eggs (and salt & vanilla extract, but these aren't structural). Aka a recipe to witness the power of eggs. I was super skeptical when pouring the 300g of sugar into 6 egg yolks, thinking it'd just be yolk coated sugar clumps, but it did in fact turn into a texture that falls as billow-y ribbons off the whisk. That's the good news. The bad news is that I completely messed up folding the stiff-peak egg whites in, mostly because I didn't think to switch to a bigger spatula to minimize the number of folds until the very end. Don't be stupid like me. Regardless it's not easy trying to fold clouds into concrete. So the final cake is not quite spongey, but still delicious with some strawberry compote and a generous dollop of softly whipped cream.

14 June 2017

yvr

Vancouver photos are up across various places (but also consolidated here!):
Many more photos (with people's faces, appropriately) on Facebook.

13 June 2017

matriculate

Things I ate before I graduated:

 米线with mom at another place that provides overly generous portions

ice cream with Jeff, but he's really a cheesecake monster

12 June 2017

#ffffff

Browsing through "curating" my pintrest is always fun.

In anticipation of wearing a white dress for convocation:


11 June 2017

dots

views from Whistler and the drive there

Mountains are good for perspective.

05 June 2017

mall

A visit to UBC, where the aesthetics of each department's building roughly matches UofT's.

 CompSci

 Civ :(

Pharm

04 June 2017

weeping

A visit to the Van Dusen botanical gardens. It was not on my radar, am very glad Angela wanted to visit. We had lots of fun photographing there, and naming various sad looking trees. The highlight for me is definitely the giant rhubarbs, which I will definitely plant in my front garden for their menacing looks.





Lunch at the Shaughnessy restaurant, 10/10 for ambience. Loved how they provided scones instead of bread for brunch, but they could've been more generous than a tiny piece per person.




03 June 2017

conifers

More Whistler road trip sights:
 Brandywine provincial park

 Looking to Backcomb

Looking down at the valley from the Peak2Peak gondola, very impressive ride

...

The lighthouse provincial park is also very impressive looking with its gigantic trees, but we were rushing and did not stop to take photos for once.

02 June 2017

north

A couple of photos from last night's walk around the Vancouver waterfront.

This series is typical in concept and fairly poor in execution, but the contrast of the reflections in the black water is appealing to me:





I was trying to take a photo of a building adjacent to these houses, but upon reviewing the photo decided that these look far more appealing:



Bonus windows on the walk back


01 June 2017

tracing

Second time was the charm to catch the sunset at English Bay.

 Sort of swirly bokeh?